Two things to achieve this weekend:
1) do an open water Lake swim – not a lido swim
2) ride the bike course for the forthcoming half ironman in two weeks
The first is a confidence builder. I have swum quite a bit in my wetsuit so the swim part should be OK, I just wanted to practise sighting, which you can’t do as easy at the Lido.
The second point was to ride the course to make sure there were no ‘surprises’ and also to ride up Leith Hill to see just how bad it is.
I couldn’t have chosen a better day to swim. Up at 5am, on the road by 5.45am, in the lake by 6.45. And what a glorious swim it was. A real nice vibe at the lake, for some strange reason it was really busy, which just made it a nicer atmosphere.
I got into my swim stride very quickly and did as Mark instructed, some easy, some pushing the pace. I passed a few swimmers, then a few more and before I knew it the swim was over.
Quick transition and off on a 20 minute run. All very enjoyable. Objective number one ticked off.
Today (Sunday) was the ride. Up at 5.45, on the road by 6.30 and at where, I think, The Vachery Estate is by 7.30am. I had the map of the bike route, I had loads of fluids on the bike and energy bars etc and more fluid and energy bars in a cooler in the car. The course is two laps so plan was: lap one, then back to the car and refuel the supplies and then lap two – then wang the bike in the car and off for a run. Simple plan – what could go wrong?
I rode the start of the course, which was quite a fast route, I hit Leith Hill which was hard going. In the ‘Webb scale’ I would say harder then Box Hill and on an even par with Ditchlin Beacon. Then I got lost, I took the descent fast and missed the left so ended up going too far. A kind fellow cyclist pointed that out for me and I doubled back. Within 10 minutes I was lost again, so I decided to go back the way I came. It was hot, I was running low on supplies so going back the way I had come seemed the best idea – within another 20 minutes I was lost again! I ended up riding around trying to find my way back to the car. I had to stop at a newsagent to get more energy drink and a tracker bar otherwise I was going to blow up.
I finally made it back to the car, 76K in total, not a full lap but I do know the area very well now!
The run went without incident and after peeling sweat soaked clothes off – I drove home.
I downloaded the Garmin stats and looked at where I went wrong on the map. It was almost comical. I rode over three quarters of the route, missed a turning and then rode the long way back almost doing the entire three quarter loop again. IDIOT!
Anyway, that’s another good week in the bag – 9 and a half hours training this week, including a lot of running sessions.
Two weeks to go and I don’t think I can be any more prepared then I am for this first ‘A’ race of the year.
Finally a big thanks to the wife for offering to go on a family day to the seaside 1) on her own, as in without me not on her own otherwise it wouldn’t be a family day out would it, meaning I could do the ride and 2) for going in two cars so I could have the Freelander to take the bike to the bike course. Thanks babe x
Thanks for reading.